Following the rise of new of COVID-19 cases across the UK, governments in England, Scotland and Wales put new guidance in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. There are new restrictions in place at our services affecting how family and friends visit their loved ones. We understand that these changes and restrictions can have a huge impact on the mental health of the people we support, and that’s why our services continuously go above and beyond to ensure visits can continue safely.
We spoke to our team at Bridge Court to understand how they are arranging visits to balance everyone’s desire to see their loved ones with the government restrictions.
Thinking outside the box
At the start of the pandemic, it was difficult for us to understand what we could and couldn’t do and it was especially hard for some of the people we support. One of the people we support at Bridge Court, much like ourselves , had a difficult time understanding the huge changes being made to our lives. Stephan used to go out with his parents every single week until restrictions came into place across the country. He found it very difficult to adjust to the new restrictions. Staff at Bridge Court did everything we could to ensure Stephan could keep in touch via telephone calls whenever needed, but sometimes this wasn’t enough. The team had to think outside the box! They took Stephan to visit his family in the car, ensuring they followed Government safety guidance. His family always stood away from the car. Although it was for a brief hello, it made a world of difference seeing them. Stephan was so much happier when the team arranged visits and it helped his mental wellbeing. Staff also supported Stephan to download WhatsApp, so he could video call his family. This helped him and his family stay connected and cope much better as they were still able to get quality time and his family could see he was safe and well.
Only Happy tiers!
As lockdown began to ease, the tier system was introduced in the UK. The tier system introduced different travel and visiting rules, depending on where you live. Bridge Court is located in North Yorkshire and was placed in tier two. During this time our team made an incredible effort to ensure the people we support saw their family as much as possible, whilst remaining safe. People we support received COVID safe outdoor visits from their family members. Staff communicated the process for visits beforehand. This included where hand sanitisers were located, to follow and stick to markings showing where staff and residents were allowed to stand or sit to ensure there was social distancing. A seating area was set up for COVID-19 safety visits and PPE was provided to family members. The people we support, their families and staff felt safe as all Government guidelines were followed and they were able to meet their loved ones and stay connected.
As cases continued to rise across the country, Bridge Court moved into tier three restrictions. The staff team immediately informed families and the people we support of the new rules.
Paul, an individual we support at Bridge Court, was finding it really difficult not being able to see his family. Our team were determined to make it possible for him to see his family safely. They arranged a surprise visit for Paul with his family.
Pauls family did a lateral flow test on the morning of visit, to which they all tested negative. Equipped with full PPE, Pauls parents and brother were allowed to visit Paul over the two days. Paul was over the moon to see his family! The visits were very emotional, Paul and his parents were overwhelmed with joy and so were the staff on shift that day. The visits were supervised to ensure everyone was kept safe at all times and the room was cleaned thoroughly before and after visiting. It took a lot of time and planning to allow this visit to go ahead and it was worth every second to see how happy it made Paul and his family!
We’re keeping you safe at Voyage Care
We remain focused on adhering to all the latest government guidance and advice relating to the global spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The health and wellbeing of the people we support, and our staff teams remains our highest priority. To learn more about what we are doing, visit our COVID-19 (Coronavirus) resource area.
Please note: This article is about events that happened during the COVID-19 pandemic and reflects the safety measures based on government advice during that specific time period. Please be assured that at all times, Voyage Care follows the appropriate COVID-19 safety measures to keep our staff and the people we support safe. To find out more about our COVID-19 safety precautions, please visit our COVID-19 resource area.